blitzkrieg


blitzkrieg
/blits"kreeg'/, n., v.t.
blitz (defs. 1, 2, 5).
[1935-40; < G, equiv. to Blitz lightning + Krieg war]

* * *

(German: "lightning war") Military tactic used by Germany in World War II, designed to create psychological shock and resultant disorganization in enemy forces through the use of surprise, speed, and superiority in matériel or firepower.

The Germans tested the blitzkrieg during the Spanish Civil War in 1938 and against Poland in 1939, and used it in the successful invasions of Belgium, the Netherlands, and France in 1940. The German blitzkrieg coordinated land and air attacks
using tanks, dive-bombers, and motorized artillery
to paralyze the enemy principally by disabling its communications and coordination capacities.

* * *

▪ military tactic
German“lightning war”
 military tactic calculated to create psychological shock and resultant disorganization in enemy forces through the employment of surprise, speed, and superiority in matériel or firepower. Tested by the Germans during the Spanish Civil War in 1938 and against Poland in 1939, the blitzkrieg proved to be a formidable combination of land and air action. The essence of blitzkrieg is the use of mobility, shock, and locally concentrated firepower in a skillfully coordinated attack to paralyze an adversary's capacity to coordinate his own defenses, rather than attempting to physically overcome them, and then to exploit this paralysis by penetrating to his rear areas and disrupting his whole system of communications and administration. The tactics, as employed by the Germans, consisted of a splitting thrust on a narrow front by combat groups using tanks, dive-bombers, and motorized artillery to disrupt the main enemy battle position at the point of attack. Wide sweeps by armoured vehicles followed, creating large pockets of trapped and immobilized enemy forces. These tactics were remarkably economical of both lives and matériel, primarily for the attackers but also, because of the speed and short duration of the campaign, among the victims.

      Blitzkrieg tactics were used in the successful German invasions of Belgium, The Netherlands, and France in 1940. They were used by the German commander Erwin Rommel (Rommel, Erwin) during the desert campaigns in North Africa and by U.S. General George Patton (Patton, George Smith) in the European operations of 1944. More recent manifestations of blitzkrieg were the combined air and ground attacks by Israeli forces on Syria and Egypt in June 1967 and the Israeli counterattacks and final counteroffensive against the same adversaries in October 1973.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blitzkrieg — (German for lightning war Audio|De blitzkrieg.ogg|listen) is a popular name for an offensive operational level military doctrine which involves an initial bombardment followed by the employment of motorized mobile forces attacking with speed and… …   Wikipedia

  • blitzkrieg — [ blitskrig ] n. m. • v. 1980; all. Blitzkrieg, de Blitz « éclair » et Krieg « guerre » 1 ♦ Guerre éclair. 2 ♦ Attaque politique visant à amener une victoire très rapide. ● blitzkrieg nom masculin (allemand Blitzkrieg, guerre éclair) Opérations… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • blitzkrieg — s.n. (Germanism) Război fulger . [< germ. Blitzkrieg]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 21.11.2004. Sursa: DN  BLÍTZKRIEG BLIŢ KRIG/ s. n. război fulger . (< germ. Blitzkrieg) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • blitzkrieg — litz krieg v. to fight a quick and surprising war. Syn: fight a blitzkrieg. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blitzkrieg — rapid attack, 1939, from Ger. Blitzkrieg, from Blitz lightning (from M.H.G. blicze, back formation from bliczen to flash, from O.H.G. blecchazzen to flash, lighten (8c.), from P.Gmc. *blikkatjan, from PIE root *bhel (1) to shine, flash, burn; see …   Etymology dictionary

  • blitzkrieg — |blitsecrigue| s. f. O mesmo que guerra relâmpago. • Plural: blitzkriegen.   ‣ Etimologia: palavra alemã blitzkrieg …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • blitzkrieg — litz krieg (bl[i^]tz kr[=e]g), n. [German, blitz lightning + krieg war.] an overwhelming all out attack with infantry, armor, and air forces, especially by surprise against an unprepared enemy. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • blitzkrieg — index onset (assault) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • blitzkrieg — [blits′krēg΄] n. [Ger < blitz, lightning + krieg, war] 1. sudden, swift, large scale offensive warfare intended to win a quick victory 2. any sudden, overwhelming attack …   English World dictionary

  • Blitzkrieg — Para la banda de metal, véase Blitzkrieg (banda). Tropas de la Wehrmacht junto a un carro de combate Tiger I en junio de 1943. La …   Wikipedia Español

  • Blitzkrieg — Der Blitzkrieg ist eine militärische Strategie, die, von Rüstungsfragen ausgehend, eine Eskalation des Konfliktes zu einem Totalen Krieg verhindern soll und dies über einen schnellen operativen Sieg anstrebt. Die Wehrmacht verwendete eine Form… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.